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About the StoryWetlands is an interactive quagmire that leads you from the image of a fantastical city to a choice about the actual city's future, via a collection of mechanical puzzles in a watery setting.
3rd Place - Spring Thing 2011
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Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:Uniquely Atmospheric, May 29, 2011
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)Wetlands is one of the rare games that sticks in your mind after you step away from the computer; the mysterious symbology, the unique atmosphere, the timeless feel -- all of these work together to evince a vivid, wistful, everlasting poignancy also created by the Zork series, The Moonlit Tower, Myst, and very few other games. The writing is simply fantastic (with the exception of an unnecessary profanity). The atmosphere rotates around water and wood -- ponds, beaches, forests, driftwood, dried leaves, rusty pipes, and so forth. The language is evocative but not to Romantic excess; it is quietly balanced and enduring.
The basic plot is that you are seeking the Crystal City -- a perhaps-legendary water-city, possibly magical, possibly quite advanced. You have narrowed its location down to the Waterworks, an water processing facility consisting of a pond, a few buildings, and the surrounding woods. Of course, you will not leave until you have discovered the city.
In contrast to the plot and the atmosphere, the puzzles are for the most part im-poss-ible. They are not clued whatsoever, and the game provides no direction as to what you're supposed to do next. Yes, you could argue that echoes Zork, and while the lack of cluing leads you to explore more, you are hampered by Wetlands' linear plot. Lack of cluing plus a linear plot yields frustration, whereas in more exploration-type games, it does not. I'm also not too impressed by the NPCs. They are well-characterized, but completely unhelpful, and there are no built-in hints.
I didn't make it very far -- only to the status "starting to trickle" -- but I don't think I will be able to proceed any further than that. Given that the game has a few other minor errors, proceeding might not be possible. It probably is, but I don't know for sure. If for no other reason, play this for the atmosphere.
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